Long time no new chapter. My bad again.
Most of the reviews are about people wanting Eric to tell Sookie more about his family, and while this Eric is a bit more open with Sookie, I still think it's a little too soon in the narrative for that. In the show Eric didn't even tell Pam about his family until the interrogation with the Authority. I think we can all agree, outside of Godric, Pam was the most important person to Eric and even after all their time together she didn't know. It's my own little headcanon that Eric really wouldn't have shared it with anyone else except Godric, who was helping him hunt them. The whole thing will come out, just not yet.
Chapter title comes from the song Guillotine by Yadi.
Eric could feel Sookie's frantic heartbeat in his veins. As he greeted the Magister and Sophie-Anne, it took every ounce of his considerable will not to shoot a look behind him at Sookie. Eric barely registered the Magister's greeting.
Instead of looking back at his bonded Eric looked over at Sophie-Anne. The Queen looked exquisite as usual, every hair in place. The smile on her face was radiant. Obviously she was enjoying the discomfort this surprise visit was causing.
"… Since the tribunal. I hope your new child has not been giving you too much trouble?" The Magister spoke with a voice that clearly showed he didn't really give a crap.
"I have handled the burden quite well. She has been an asset and I feel the Authority themselves would look on her as a benefit to our kind."
Eric was in fact relieved that Jessica and Pam were not there right now, though they were on their way back. Jessica was terrified of any mention of the Magister, as one who went through her ordeal and turning would be. Eric didn't see the need to correct this feeling in his progeny.
Though he himself was not afraid of the bald vampire he was wary of him and made sure to show the proper respect. The Magister was a vindictive and power hungry wretch, much like the rest of the Council and the AVL. Crossing him would be fatal.
"If I had known of this visit I could have prepared—."
The Magister cut Eric off.
"The point of these visits is to catch one unaware and unprepared, as I'm sure you're aware, Sheriff. Let us dispense with the formalities and the façade of welcome and get down to business."
Eric nodded and stepped between the two vampires and his booth. Sophie-Anne's mind tended to wander when talk turned to business and he didn't want her eyes to do the same in that direction.
"My office is this way." He motioned.
"No," Sophie-Anne said quickly. "Out here will be fine. Your office is bugged."
Eric gritted his teeth to control his fangs from dropping.
"And you would know this how?" He had a pretty good idea already.
"I bugged it." She smiled. "It's just so I know I could trust you."
She obviously had had it done within the last week or so since Eric had the whole bar swept for bugs regularly. Since getting back from Dallas though he hadn't had a chance to, what with the everything else going on.
"Out here should be fine," the Magister said. He raised his voice to announce that the bar was closed for the evening and the patrons began to quickly file out.
"This one can stay," Sophie-Anne said. It took Eric a second to realize the Queen was focused on Yvetta and he relaxed. While the Magister was arguing with the Queen and sending the human away, Eric shot a quick glance behind him.
Godric was no longer in the booth, but was waiting at the stairs of the stage. His eyes met Eric's and darted quickly toward the corridor leading to the back offices. At least for the moment the presence of a fairy hybrid telepath in the bar would go undetected.
Sookie leaned against a wall in the back hallway willing her heart to beat at a normal pace. There was a back exit of course and Sookie could get to her car and hightail it back to Bon Temps. Though with a rogue werewolf running around that probably wouldn't be the best option. Furthermore, Stackhouses weren't exactly known for running away. Hiding in the back of your boyfriend's bar, maybe. But if anybody asked Sookie was just catching her breath.
Sookie realized she could still hear the vampires in the main bar area pretty good if she cooled her heartbeat down.
"… that business in Dallas," she could hear the older mail vampire, the Magister. "Yet here you are.
Still plastered against the wall she retraced her steps a few feet back down the hall. Yes it was rude to eavesdrop and if Gran were still alive she would have more than likely shamed Sookie about the behavior, but really Sookie had done worse in the last few weeks and she felt justified in the fact that she might need a heads up of what was going on.
Keep telling yourself that girl.
The Magister seated himself in Eric's throne. Which was an unnecessary bout of posturing on the vampire's part in Eric's opinion. There was no question that Jorge Alonso de San Diego was in charge of this mock court. As Sophie-Anne found out when she tried to interrupt his conversation with Godric. Patience had never been one of the Queen's strong suits.
"It's getting late, shouldn't we be getting on with business?"
To Sophie-Anne's credit she kept her voice charming and her body posture relaxed. To the Magister's credit he didn't hit her with his cane. He merely paused briefly in his conversation to look pointedly at her, then picked up where he left off.
"As I was saying, you are a credit to our race in your ability to survive."
Godric bowed his head.
"I thank you for the compliment but I believe if it had you presiding instead of Miss Flanagan, I might not be standing before you now."
The Magister seemed to take this as a dig though it was not meant as one.
"Yes well, Flanagan was closer and had nothing better to do in between press conferences. Though I can assure you the outcome would have been the same. An example would have had to be made, stripping you of your title, but I know for a fact the Guardian gave strict instructions that you were not to meet the true death."
Godric didn't seem very surprised by this pronouncement. When he did not respond but in another slight bow the Magister decided to move on. He turned his gaze to Eric.
"Sheriff, if you have no objections to your Maker listening in on our business…"
Eric shared a glance with Godric.
"I have no objections if he wishes to stay. His council is always welcome to me."
Sophie-Anne rolled her eyes.
"Well I have an objection." She moved closer to the thrown and put her hand on the left armrest. "If he's going to be party to this little tête-à-tête we should follow all formalities. He's technically still an agent of Texas. He needs to renounce his fealty to that kingdom and pledge it to Louisiana and me. Unless he doesn't intend to stay in which case he can be on his way."
The Magister let out a long-suffering sigh.
"Very well." He turned his eyes to Godric. "What say you…"
It was comical to see the Magister grope for an appropriate title. Godric was no longer a sheriff but he was still the second oldest vampire in the Americas. Only a fool would not show him the proper respect. Case in point with the Queen.
"My home is here now," Godric stated. "I will gladly pledge my fealty."
Sophie-Anne smiled like a cat ready to devour the canary whole. And why shouldn't she be happy? She would now have two of the most powerful vampires at her beck and call.
Sophie-Anne stepped away from the throne and held out her left hand for Godric to take. The hand was pale, subtle, and perfectly manicured. She wore an obscenely large diamond ring on her middle finger.
Godric bent down on one knee and took her hand in his own.
"I Godric, of the bloodline of Appius Livius Ocella, hereby pledge my unending fealty to the kingdom of Louisiana and her majesty, Sophie-Anne Leclerq, until I meet the true death or until She feels the need to send me forth from Her service."
Eric doubted the latter would ever happen, which was why he didn't want this stupid pledge to happen in the first place. Godric was now bound to Sophie-Anne and any mad whim she might feel.
Godric released the Queen's hand and while still on his knees he lowered his fangs and bit into his wrist letting his blood well up and drip onto the floor. Sophie-Anne's lip curled in distaste.
"Ugh, get up. I never liked that part. Bleeding a human would be so much more appropriate and enjoyable."
"The ritual of it is obviously lost on you," the Magister said dryly. "The sacredness of the Blood is precisely why we're here."
Eric stood still not even twitching a face muscle. He didn't look at Godric, who was closing the wound on his wrist. He kept his eyes solely on the Magister while inside he burned to glare at Sophie-Anne and rip her face off.
The Authority weren't complete dullards, least of all the Magister. Of course they had noticed the spike in V distribution. Lying was almost first nature to Eric, but he should have at least told some of the truth. Not that Sophie-Anne was behind the V production, he wasn't suicidal. But saying he didn't notice an increase made him look at best an idiot and at worst that he was hiding something.
Eric could only presume that the Magister was sharing his theory of a vampire being behind all this because he had suspicions. The Magister seemed like a keep his cards close to his vest kind of vampire. He would hardly ask for help from the likes of the local sheriffs.
Eric listened to Sophie-Anne's veiled threats and considered whether or not to throw Bill Compton under the bus in spite of it when his progenies came back.
Pam put on a brave face and smirked.
"Well this is quiet the party. Should I wrangle up some refreshments?"
Jessica, who was clutching the satchel that no doubt held Bill Compton's laptop, stood stock-still. She could've been mistaken for a store mannequin if not for the look of abject terror on her face directed at the vampire sitting in Eric's throne.
"That won't be necessary," the Magister said. "Our business is all but concluded. We have other engagements. I would however like to speak to you," he inclined his head to Godric and stood, "…about a matter from the Guardian."
"I have some business to discuss with my Sheriff as well before we depart," Sophie-Anne said, making sure to keep in stride with the male vampire as he descended the dais. "Of a private nature."
The Magister waved his hand at her and asked Godric to accompany him to the car waiting outside. Jessica had lowered her eyes to the floor as the Magister came closer. The older vampire looked as though he hardly even noticed the novice vamp. But he stopped suddenly in front of her and lifted her chin until her blue eyes met his dark ones.
Eric willed calm and strength into the bound he had with his younger progeny.
"How goes your new life, child?"
The Magister's voice was without any real emotion but he'd have to be a blind mute not to read the fear coming from the young vampire. Jessica's voice did not wavier nor did her eyes well with blood as Eric feared they might.
"Everything I could hope for, sir. Eric is the perfect maker. He's taught me much and knows the importance of discipline as well as compassion."
The Magister dropped his hand and continued toward the front of the bar. Godric followed but not before quickly clasping a reassuring hand in Jessica's, who smiled shakily at him.
"Jessica." Eric let a sliver of fondness drip into his voice. "Go put your things away then you are free for the evening."
Sophie-Anne showed little interest in the young vampire, which was good. The Queen seemed impatient though, which wasn't.
"Finally." She stretched her arms out. "Alone at last." Pam obviously didn't rate.
"You want to tell me why you're taking your sweet damn time selling off the rest of the blood. I sent that last shipment almost a week ago. I should have more money than the change you sent me by now."
Eric ground his teeth.
"Perhaps you want to use some more discretion your majesty," Eric said sweetly so he wouldn't put her through a wall.
"Oh fuck off. This place is soundproof right? And they're talking about whatever. Which why does the Guardian want to talk with your Maker?" She raised her hand not really caring. "Now where's my fucking money?"
Jessica hurried to the back quicker than most humans but still at her full speed. Even with this precaution she ran smack into something and fell face first over. Something soft and warm, that smelled divine.
"Sookie?" she asked looking down at the telepath. Jessica's fangs popped out. The young vampire quickly covered her mouth. "Sorry. That… I swear I won't bite you. You just surprised me. And you smell really good."
"Uh… Thanks. Do you think you could get off me, Jessica?"
"Oh yeah, sure."
The redhead scooted over and grab the bag she had dropped. Luckily no damage had been done. Eric wasn't haven't the best night it seemed, though who was, and if Compton's laptop was damaged he might not holdback his bad mood on her.
Jessica shot a look over at Sookie.
"What the heck are you still doing here?" Sookie had stood up and was ignoring her. It took Jessica a second to realize what she was doing. "Sookie are you listening in on Eric?"
Sookie shot her a look over her shoulder.
"Like you don't spy on him and Pam."
"Well, yeah…" But that was different. Jessica was almost sure Eric would not want Sookie hearing the conversation that he was having with the Queen. "We should get you out of here. You know who's out there?"
Sookie turned to face Jessica.
"The Queen. Who apparently has Eric selling vampire blood."
Jessica audibly gulped and couldn't meet Sookie's eyes.
"That…it…It's not really his fault."
"Yeah," Sookie said. She didn't sound angry, just tired. Maybe a little afraid. "It sounds like it.
"With all due respect your Majesty, the presence of the Magister suggest we should be laying low."
Sophie-Anne waved a hand.
"Please. If that sanctimonious toad had anything we'd all be laid out to meet the sun."
Eric shared a quick glance with Pam who looked about as homicidal as he felt.
"Still to err on the side of caution would be the smartest…"
Before he could finish his sentence he was slammed up against the nearest wall with the Queen's hand gripping tightly around his throat and the other digging nails into his cheek. Her fangs were barred.
"The smart thing to do would be to remember who you're talking to, Viking," she snarled. "Move. The. Blood. Or if you need further incentive I can always invite your young new ingénue to visit me at court. Show her a little culture."
Pam's fangs clicked down and Sophie-Anne shot her a dark glare. The blonde vampire retracted her fangs and lowered her head.
"That won't be necessary your Majesty," Eric croaked. "Consider the shipment as good as sold."
Sophie-Anne stared at him for a long moment before releasing him and walking over to his private booth, inspecting her nails.
"Good. Now bring out the girl. And your new progeny as well." She sat down and gave him a smile.
"What girl your majesty?"
"I'm not stupid or blind, Northman. The little blonde creampuff that was skulking toward the back while everybody else was heading out the front."
He probably wouldn't be able to get to the bar to grab one of the stakes kept there without her knowing what was about to happen and act accordingly. Of course he could just go with the old fashioned ripping her head off. Or even shove the whole table she was sitting at through her.
Sophie-Anne rolled her eyes and laughed.
"Don't be like that. The Magister's right outside. I just want some girl talk."
Eric glanced at Pam then back to Sophie-Anne. Pam quickly stepped out of sight into the back.
A few moments later she came back with Jessica and Sookie in tow. Sookie wouldn't meet his eye at first but then gave him a reassuring smile out of sight of Sophie-Anne. She turned to face the Queen of Louisiana back straight.
"Sookie Stackhouse." The Queen's smile couldn't be described as anything but predatory.
"Your Majesty," Sookie said. "Pleased to meet you." It almost sounded genuine. "You sure look the part."
The Queen smiled again. Sophie-Anne was a peacock and she loved others preening over her feathers.
Sophie-Anne patted the seat.
"Don't stand on ceremony. Come, sit. I've heard so much about you."
Sookie sat on the opposite side. She did not falter in keeping eye contact, which made Sophie-Anne narrow her eyes. Eric hadn't been invited to sit so he stood directly next to the booth on Sookie's side. Pam took up a place behind the Queen, which Sophie-Anne didn't seem to care about. Jessica stood off to the side.
"From who exactly? Bill Compton. I wouldn't take anything that guy says to heart."
"He is not the most reliable fount of information unfortunately. But he has his uses."
"Had don't you mean?" Sophie-Anne again narrowed her eyes and lifted a eyebrow at Eric, who remained silent. "You sent him to kidnap me."
Sophie-Anne kept her smile plastered on but it seemed a little smaller and tighter.
"I don't know what you've heard…"
"That you're bankrupt. You'd think someone your age would know how to manage their money better." Eric could see Pam struggling to not laugh. His was the same. He was also waging a war about whether or not to put a hand on Sookie to stop her or let her keep going.
"And Eric's older than you. Stronger. The only competent vampire you seem to have around. Although maybe the second since Godric's hanging around now. I don't get why you're going to all the trouble to piss them off when you obviously need their help."
Sophie-Anne's nails dug into the table, at least if not all of them breaking.
"Listen you little blood boil. I am the Queen of Louisiana…"
Sookie cut her off.
"Not my queen. Last time I checked I still have a heartbeat." This time Pam didn't even try to stop the laugh bubbling out. Sophie-Anne was too angry and focused on Sookie to care. "And that Magister fellow told you to keep your hands to yourself. I'm not some backwoods wilting flower, Your Highness." She spat out. "Your buddy-buddy act isn't fooling anybody and I'm sure as hell not going to pretend to be a loyal subject like everybody else."
Eric did reach a hand out on to rest gently on Sookie's shoulder at this and stared Sophie-Anne down. A threat that though he might not like it if Sophie-Anne pressed he would rip her limb from limb.
Sophie-Anne started to snarl something when Godric reentered the bar.
"Your Majesty," he spoke as though nothing was the matter. "The Magister would like to remind you that you both have a previous engagement back in New Orleans. The time is pressing," he said.
Sophie-Anne spared him a look then let her eyes drift back to Sookie. She stood and straightened her outfit.
"As fun as this has been. I have obligations. Sheriff Northman, don't slack on your work. Miss Stackhouse. A pleasure to meet you," she said saccharinely. In the same tone she said, "Pity I couldn't meet your brother."
Jessica's fangs clicked down and cold shiver ran up Sookie's spine. The threat was obvious all. Sookie quickly composed herself though.
"Your majesty," she called after the red head's retreating form. Sophie-Anne barely slowed her gait. "How do you feel about werewolves?"
Sophie-Anne let her perplexity show on her face and looked at Godric who was not far off from her. When the little vampire offered no answer to the madness she turned around.
"Why on earth would you want to tangle with any of those mongrel?"
Sookie looked at Eric then back at the Queen.
"So you don't like working with them?"
"Working? My dear they have no work ethic. They're filthy and shifty. Worse than the Greeks."
With no one else having anything to say she left.
After a tense minute Jessica was the first to speak.
"What a bitch. And she's kind of racist."
Sookie leaned out of the booth and put her head between her legs. Eric moved to put a hand on her back soothingly but she flinched and he pulled away.
"I just need a minute," she gasped.
Eric felt like ripping something apart.
Pam let out a low whistle.
"Well I for one thought that was marvelous."
"…And stupid," Eric added.
"Like that's anything new for you," Sookie said sitting up. She grabbed her purse and scrambled for her phone. After a minute she got nothing but her brother's voicemail. "Jason, you need to call me back. Right away. Don't go out anywhere. Or if you are get home. Or my home. Somewhere somebody lives."
She hung up and then dialed another number.
"Do you think he's okay?" Jessica asked. "He didn't answer any of my texts tonight."
"That might be my fault," Sookie said, remembering the conversation she had with Jason earlier in the day.
"It's probably just an empty threat," Pam said.
"It would've been if Sookie hadn't severely pissed her off," Eric said.
"You thought it was funny."
"Merlotte's Bar and Grill."
"Sam?" Sookie asked. "You're back?"
"Just about. How you doing chere?"
Sookie didn't really have time for pleasantry but it was against her nature to be rude.
"Did you have a nice vacation?"
"Not exactly. Long story."
"Yeah well I'm really calling to ask if you've seen Jason."
The panic must've shown some in her voice because Sam moved to quickly reassure her.
"Yeah, no… He was in here about an hour ago. He got into a tussle with Hoyt but…"
"What?" Jessica blurred up next to Sookie and yelled into the phone. "What do you mean he got into a fight with Hoyt?"
Sookie shoved her face away.
"Who was that?"
"Jessica," Sookie replied. "What happened."
The fact that her brother was not in mortal danger, at least from a deranged vampire queen, was cheering, but this new information was just adding back onto Sookie's stress load.
"I don't know. I was in my office. Hoyt started it though. Or at least he threw the first punch. All the punches actually if what Arlene says is true. Jason didn't try to fight back. Terry had to pull Hoyt off him."
That sort of cinch what the fight was about. Sookie looked over at Jessica and let out a breath.
"Where's Jason now? He's not answering his phone."
"Andy took him to your house I guess. He wanted to arrest Hoyt for assault but Jason didn't want to press charges."
Soon after hearing the rest of the particulars Sookie quickly said her goodbyes and hung up.
"Who knew Fortenberry had it in him?" Pam said.
"Why would they get into a fist fight?" Jessica asked.
"Oh come on, Jessica," Pam scoffed. "Seriously? If I were you I would just sleep with both of them."
"Pam," Eric warned.
"What? We're seriously not going to talk about it? Since when?"
"Since we have more important things to talk about," Sookie said.
She was rubbing her hands over her knees. She was happy that Jason was relatively safe for now, but that didn't diminish the rest of the crapshoot that was going on.
"Like that fact that I am now dating a drug dealer."
"Oh crap." That was Pam.
So not as Eric/Sookie interaction in this chapter but there will be boatloads in the next. Whenever that is. Again sorry about the long wait.